Although there is a framework in place to prevent and manage conflicts of interest in EU spending, there are loopholes in promoting transparency and in detecting situations at risk. This is what emerges from a new report by the European Court of Auditors, which particularly looked at how the issue is addressed in agricultural and cohesion policies, the biggest spending areas in the EU.
“In the light of the revised legislation and recent cases, we wanted to verify whether the European Commission and member states adequately addressed conflicts of interest in the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy,” said Pietro Russo, the ECA member who led the audit. “We found that efforts were made to address the issue, but gaps remain. The reporting of cases should be improved, to give a clear overview of the amounts affected by conflicts of interest”